London, 9 Dec – During My Five-Year Imprisonment I Witnessed Numerous Crimes of Iran Regime
A former Iranian political prisoner has told The Express about the barbaric way she was treated and why the West must support the democratic alternative to the Iranian Regime.
Shabnam Madadzadeh, 29, was imprisoned for seven years for her support of the political opposition group, the People’s Mojaheidn Organisation of Iran (MEK).
She was beaten and tortured, forced to listen as guards raped other female prisoners and forced to watch as intelligence agents beat her brother, Farzad.
Madadzadeh, a computer science student at Tarbiat Moalem University in Tehran, was arrested with her brother in 2009 for speaking out against the Iranian Regime’s human rights abuses.
She said: “I arrived and spent three months in solitary confinement and there was torture, both mental and physical. My cell was just 2x3m and I was alone with no connection to the world. My family was not allowed to contact me and they could not find out anything about me or what it was like for me in jail.”
When she was released from solitary confinement, Madadzadeh bravely smuggled letters out of prison to raise awareness of the brutality that she and other political prisoners were subjected to.
She refused to answer interrogators, to which they responded with violent interrogations of up to 10 hours each day.
She said: “They pushed me and they hit me a lot…They grabbed my hair and pushed my head and wanted me to say what they wanted to hear. They tortured my brother, even more in front of my eyes. They increased the pressure and even more in the interrogation they said they would kill me and threatened to execute me. Nobody knew where I was, I was alone and I heard the sounds of other prisoners being tortured. They would cry out and it was the most horrible sound.”
She revealed that prisoners were often electrocuted or tortured via the medieval method of stretching on a rack before being beaten.
After her release, Madadzadeh fled the country in fear for her life. She urges Western governments to stand up to the Iranian Regime and President Hassan Rouhani.
She said: “The West cannot negotiate with the regime. It’s the most criminal in the world. The face of the regime is not the smiling faces and shaking of hands. My message to European leaders is stop negotiating with the regime.”
She recommended that Western leaders side with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a democratic group which acts as a government-in-exile and works alongside the MEK.
Earlier this week, Madadzadeh spoke to the European Parliament about the horrors of the Regime.
She said: “During my five-year imprisonment I witnessed numerous crimes of this regime particularly against Iran’s innocent women and girls and today I am here to be the voice of the voiceless, the voice of those being crushed in the clutches of this misogynist regime in face of the world’s silence and inaction.”
She continued: “The message of the Iranian people to western governments, and my message today is that you must adhere to the three decades of struggle by the Iranian people to break free from the clutches of this regime and accept the true freedom fighters, the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the true representative of the Iranian people, and refrain from any type of negotiations or deals with this notorious regime, because the true price of your deals is human lives, gallows in the streets of Iran.”
This references the numerous executions in Iran, which has the highest per capita execution rate in the world. In 2015 alone, the Regime ordered the deaths of around 1,000 people for mostly low-level, non-violent crimes.
Madadzadeh said: “The Iranian people have the will power to overthrow this regime, and with the tireless efforts of the Iranian resistance they will overthrow this regime.”